The effort was certainly there and the atmosphere appeared to favor the Burbank High girls’ basketball team at home Friday evening when the Bulldogs hosted Glendale High in a Pacific League contest.
But the Nitros and Jillian Yanai had other things in mind, as the senior guard led Glendale to a 52-49 victory.
“We made a lot of turnovers in the first half. I think if we played better in the first half, we’d have won the game,” Burbank coach John Wells said. “It doesn’t come down to close calls at the end if we played better in the first half. We did what we needed to do. We took it to the hoop and they were in foul trouble all game. We were making our free throws.”
Yanai kept the Nitros (16-7 overall, 8-1 in the league) in the game by hitting some clutch shots. She finished with a game-high 29 points.
“I’ve been working on it for a very long time, so I’m glad it came through tonight,” Yanai said of her shot.
Burbank (9-14, 4-5 in the league) actually led at the end of the first quarter, 12-8, and at halftime, 21-19.
Both teams fought back in the third quarter as the lead changed four times.
Burbank last led with 3:15 left in the quarter when Osanna Tirityan hit a free throw to make it 30-29. She led Burbank with 22 points.
“We offensive rebound very well. It’s part of our offense. Osanna shares the ball really well. We played hard defense. If we don’t give up second-chance points and control the offensive glass we’re going to be in every game,” Wells said. “Our Achilles heel is that we turn the ball over. It’s usually in the first half and then we settle down and get in the groove. We just have to get better in the first half.”
Burbank tied things up at 38 with 5:53 to play as Emily Monterrey’s shot banked in off the glass.
The Bulldogs got within two points with 1:32 to play on a basket by freshman Jayla Flowers.
After a Burbank timeout, Yanai completed a three-point play for the Nitros to push the lead to 47-42.
Burbank made a late push with a three-pointer from Tirityan and a basket by Sofia Aslanyan. But the Bulldogs were unable to get a shot off after Glendale missed a free throw with 1.7 seconds left.
The Bulldogs got 11 points from Sophia Jimenez. Flowers finished with eight points and Aslanyan had six points. Monterrey had two points.